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It might have been a series of innocent questions, but then again, Neville thought, Hugo had inherited his father's tact (which was needy, to say the least) and that wide-eyed, wink-peppered stare that had been drilled into his own eyes had not seemed untinged with hints and insinuations. As much hinting and insinuation as a slightly dim fifth year boy could pull off, anyways.
Even though Neville had been expecting something of the sort, as he took in Hugo's defenseless, sloppily-dressed form, he took an overwhelming pity on him and in a single moment, all of his preconceptions vanished and he was left with no other thought than to give the boy help. With a sigh, he met Hugo's eyes and asked him what was wrong.
A feeling. He couldn't label it, he didn't know what it was, and he wasn't sure he'd felt it for a very long time. But whatever it was, it was the reason…for everything he was about to do.
And a Little Bit of Conversation
Neville prided himself on his over-preparation for most of the possible scenarios that could play out in the area around Hogwarts.
That Goes Horribly Awry
Then Hugo heard it. A pugnacious click, click, click. It sounded rather like the noise that Marjie's pencil made when she tapped it on the golden plates at breakfast, but louder, sharper, more menacing.
By Close Encounters
The queen, having finished her speech, settled back contentedly, and clicked her pincers loudly.
But Straightens Out Eventually
Not that Hugo had ever been one to conceal what it was he was feeling, or thinking--only he was usually so high of spirits that seeing him out of sorts made one feel rather vulnerable oneself.
“You know,” Scorpius said, a tinge of his old worry coloring his voice, “We did already see each other this morning.”
Below the Brine
There was a silence. It was brief, but shattering. Pythia called quickly and sharply, her voice low, “The box, Hugo!” and Hugo leapt into action, peeling the silver box from his sweaty palm and wrenching open the minuscule clasp.
And Back Again
He saw the crowd cheering, ranging all houses and ages, some with carrots or apples or lumps of sugar in their hands, and felt a pride swell in his chest at having accompanied Hugo on his journey--although none of the students understood what was happening, not really--and turned to see Hugo smiling brightly, no sign of drool or winks anywhere about him.
Because Sometimes Life Is a Circle
“You’re ready for it, Hugo. This all--” he gestured around him, and Hugo took it to mean the entire past five days. “This all started with you, and this...this would be the perfect way to end it, don’t you think? Parallel.”
"I thought, maybe, if I could do something impossible, I could prove to myself that I was...important, too."
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